Los Angeles, often associated with glitz and glamour, might seem like an expensive place to entertain kids, but you’ll be surprised to discover that there are plenty of affordable and kid-friendly options that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a local or visiting this vibrant city, here’s a guide to enjoying LA on a budget while keeping your little ones entertained.
Explore the Great Outdoors
LA is blessed with fantastic weather year-round, making outdoor activities a budget-friendly option.
Griffith Park: Head to Griffith Park for a day of adventure. Hike the trails, visit the Griffith Observatory (admission is free!), where you can explore interactive exhibits, attend public telescope viewings, and learn about astronomy and space science, or let your kids play at the playgrounds scattered throughout the park. You could pop into Los Angeles Zoo for some wildlife interaction too or just picnic and sport it up in the sun. Why I love it? Because it was featured in La La Land, the best movie of all time.
Beaches: LA boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and a day at the beach is a cost-effective way to have fun. Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach are popular choices with plenty of entertainment options, like beach volleyball, rollerblading, ferris wheels, arcades, shopping and those spectacular sunsets!
Museums and Art Galleries
Many museums in LA offer free admission or have days when they offer discounted rates.
The Getty Center: Explore world-class art collections at The Getty Center. Admission is free, but you’ll need to pay for parking. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the Getty Center sits atop a hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, offering panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. The center is home to an impressive collection of art, including European paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and photographs. It houses works by masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and J.M.W. Turner.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): LACMA offers free admission to LA County residents after 3 PM on weekdays. They are one of the largest and most prominent art museums in the United States. LACMA’s collection includes artworks from ancient civilizations, European and American paintings, Asian art, Latin American art, contemporary pieces, and much more. Notable works in their collection range from the iconic “Urban Light” installation by Chris Burden to ancient Egyptian artifacts and masterpieces by artists like Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera.
Don’t forget to refuel during your adventures – kids burn a lot of energy! LA offers affordable dining options that cater to kids:
In-N-Out Burger: A California classic! Enjoy delicious burgers, fries, and shakes at In-N-Out without breaking the bank. Get your fries ‘well done’ (extra crispy) or double servings of delicious beef and cheese. Go animal style with mustard, pickles and grilled onions – they limit their menu to provide great quality items.
Grand Central Market: This food haven in downtown LA offers a variety of cuisines at budget-friendly prices. Let your kids explore different flavors from around the world – get Mexican, Asian, vegan, vegetarian, American comfort food, Mediterranean, seafood, yummy desserts and, of course, coffee!
Taco Stands: LA is known for its amazing street tacos. Grab some tacos at a local stand for a tasty and affordable meal.
Turn fun into learning experiences at these educational spots.
California Science Center: Entry to the California Science Center is free, and kids can marvel at the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Children will dig educational, sciencey stuff if you give them a chance – anything that explodes or disappears in a puff of smoke or zings with electricity will definitely capture their attention.
Los Angeles Central Library: Why not? I loved the library when I was a kid – especially curling up in a reading corner with one of my favorite tween novels. Explore the beautiful architecture and engaging children’s section at the Los Angeles Central Library – make literary geniuses of them yet!
Exploring Los Angeles with kids on a budget is not only possible but also incredibly enjoyable. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and wallet-friendly eateries, LA offers a wide range of options to keep your family entertained without overspending. So, pack your bags, gather your little adventurers, and explore Affordable Kid-Friendly Activities and Eateries in LA!
Can kids go to Hollywood?
Believe it or not, kids love Hollywood. There’s more than just glitz and glam – think fabulous t-shirt shops and hiking to the Hollywood sign. You may just catch a glimpse of a celebrity from up there, or get a closer look at the stars on the Walk of Fame.
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